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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Are we nearing entrance to The Matrix?

The ideas and concepts of the widely popular movie The Matrix are closer than many people think.

An article at indicates that in many ways and with many technologies we are getting closer and closer to entering The Matrix....a world where computer generated images are indistinguishable from physical objects and computers interact with humans as if they were....human. As Morpheus states in The Matrix: "If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."

Here are some quotes from the article Moving closer to a 'Matrix'-style virtual world.

Last month, Brookhaven National Laboratory computer scientist Michael McGuigan told New Scientist magazine he believed a “Matrix”-style virtual world, in which one cannot always distinguish between what’s real and what’s not, could be up and running in just a few years....

Creating a realistic interface, a step or two above Jellyvision's impressive Interactive Conversation technology is the goal. As the article states
Teaching a computer what to say and how to say it could prove a boon for teaching applications that recognize when a pupil is having difficulty. Ditto for computer-based systems marketed as companions or lifestyle coaches. “If a machine is going to share large, sensitive parts of a person’s life, it had better have some sensitivity,” says Roddy Cowie, a professor of psychology at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland who is working on an interface that reads human expressions and reacts accordingly.
Additionally, scientists are working on haptic devices to give computer users a sense of touch to go with the visual elements of these virtual Matrix-Style worlds. I've written about the concept of haptic devices before in Kapp Family World Tour!
[New haptic devices have] magnetic fields and only one moving part, letting users experience the same touch sensation they’d get from running a finger along a rough tabletop. The new system also boasts better simulations of hard contact, such as a three-dimensional virtual object hitting an appropriately hard virtual wall.
Imagine a completely simulated environment where everything feels and looks real. The training and educational implications are expansive and almost unimaginable. What do trainers and teachers do when...there is no spoon.

Maybe we have to take comfort in what Neo learns from a boy while visiting the Oracle "it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself."

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